BP takes a decidedly un-lawyer-like step today and admits wrongdoing in the Texas City refinery accident in March that killed 15 people. Tommorrow’s Guardian reports the details of a corporate investigation that is uncommon in its speed and forthrightness.
A dedicated page on the investigation is available on the BP site here, including a PDF of the 47 page report.
Tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal notes ($) that:
The gravity of the report’s findings suggests that regulators may move to levy fines once their own investigations are complete. The report also appears to provide plaintiffs’ lawyers ample fodder for potentially costly litigation against BP on behalf of victims of the blast or their families. BP said yesterday it had started contacting families of the deceased, through their attorneys, to begin evaluating and settling claims.
This is an example of a company doing the right thing in the aftermath of a terrible accident. One can imagine significant internal debate about such a strategy; only a company with strong leadership could do what BP did today.